Developer/s: Guerilla Games
Publisher/s: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform/s: PlayStation 3
Genre: First-person shooter
Following the events of Killzone (PS2) and Killzone – Liberation (PSP), the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance shift the battle to the Helghast’s homeworld (Helghan) in order to capture the Helghan’s leader and put an end to the war.
The storyline isn’t really that important in my opinion, you play a badass marine/soldier sent to kill gasmask-toting, trenchcoat-wearing soldiers that strike a remarkable resemblance to Nazi officers (guess that’s why they look so menacing) who are refered to as ‘Red Eyes’ due to their glowing red goggles.
Graphics: 5/5 – The graphics are utterly amazing. Dark and gloomy surroundings and brilliant character models create a realistic and engrossing gaming experience. The stormy weather effects and close up blurring (such as when you’re piloting the mech) really add to the realism. The weapon designs are detailed and intricate and the shooting/reloading animations are fantastic. I found very few clipping or graphical glitches in the game and the few that were present weren’t anything major. There was also a minor amount of slow-down during major fight scenes but thankfully it was short-lived. Killzone 2 is a wonderful example of what the PS3 is really capable of.
Gameplay: 4/5 – Fast and fluid controls make for a really enjoyable experience (although after years of PC gaming it took me a while to adjust to the game-pad) and the tilt-sensitive controller of the PS3 has been put to great use, requiring one to physically rotate their arms when turning a valve or arming an explosive. Though not the most difficult of games, at times it can be quite challenging requiring one to restart a few times after getting gunned down in a frenetic fire-fight. The developers have really captured the fundamental aspects of war in Killzone 2, it’s noisy with plenty of gunfire and explosions, and there’s always a sense of urgency as the player is pretty much always on the move or involved in a fire-fight. Piloting a mech and manning an AA turret are just some of the ways the developers have chosen to spice up the gameplay and it’s done in such a way that you really feel that you’re behind/in one of these machines raining down death on your foes. Most of the time you’ll be engaged in squad-based combat and thankfully your A.I buddies are quite competent, managing to hold their own and at the same time they don’t hinder your own progress *cough* Half-Life 2 *cough*.
Characters: 2/5 – Nothing special, just a bunch of stereotypical ‘space-marines’ much like in Aliens, or Gears of War. Not much light is shed on the main characters and you’re not really made to care for any of them (though the game tries) and as I stated before, it doesn’t really matter as you’re there for the graphics and gameplay.
Soundtrack: 3/5 – While it lacks that epic Halo-style score, the music is atmospheric and movie-like nonetheless playing out like a high-budget Hollywood action flick.
Lifespan: 4/5 – Killzone 2 has intense gameplay, brilliant eye-candy and is wonderfully atmospheric, for that reason you will want to play through the campaign a few times increasing the difficulty modes each time. My only real complaint is that the main campaign is too short but thankfully the inclusion of online play means that your copy of Killzone 2 wont be gathering dust anytime soon.
Overall: 4/5 – Killzone 2 is a polished golden nugget amongst console-shooters, it’s utterly engrossing, with beautiful graphics, fluid gameplay and awesome online play so if you’re looking to buy a FPS for PS3 make sure it’s this one.